6 Horror Movies That Were Filmed in Wisconsin

The Giant Spider Invasion terrorizes scanitlly clad Wisconsin women

You only have to spend a short amount of time in Wisconsin to realize it’s the perfect place to shoot a horror movie. Our woods and back roads are full of creepy legends, there are 150-year old rural cemeteries around every turn. Wisconsin is home to the two most infamous serial killer cannibals. And the horrifying true case of demonic possession that inspired the rite depicted in The Exorcist happened right here.

Yes, Wisconsin has horror cred.

Every once in a while this great weird state manages to attract the attention of a film production. Here are six horror movies you may not have known were filmed right here in Wisconsin.

We must begin with…

The Giant Spider Invasion

The Giant Spider Invasion filmed in Merrill, WI
Heralded as the worst movie ever made, The Giant Spider Invasion begins when a meteorite crashes somewhere in rural Wisconsin and begins to spawn hordes of spiders through some kind of interdimensional gateway. The 1975 film stars Alan Hale, Jr. as Sheriff Jones. Hale is best known as The Skipper on Gilligan’s Island.

The invasion was filmed in Gleason, Merrill, and other Wisconsin locations and directed by the now-legendary Bill Rebane, a man who says he’s never been a fan of horror.

In 2013, the metal frame of the giant spider was stolen and scrapped from the field outside Merrill where it had sat rusting since the movie was filmed.

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The Amityville Horror (2005)

The Silver Lake, WI house used for the 2005 Amityville Horror remake
While the real Amityville Horror house can be found in New York, the 2005 remake of the controversial movie was filmed using a house on Silver Lake Rd in Salem, WI. The production crew built a new facade onto the 1880 old world Victorian home to give it that iconic colonial gambrel found on the real Amityville Horror house on Ocean Ave in Amityville, New York.

Some of the props used in the production, including the creepy eye-shaped windows, were left behind when filming was complete. They were sold at an estate sale at the house in 2017.

The Amityville Horror 2005
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The Pit (1981)

1981 horror movie The Pit was filmed predominantly in Beaver Dam, WI
Though it was one of my personal favorites, my childhood was irreparably damaged by The Pit. I developed an unhealthy paranoia of stuffed animals, and holes in the ground obviously contained tra-la-logs who were trying to eat me. Until researching this post, however, I had no idea how close to home that movie really was.

The Pit was filmed almost entirely in Beaver Dam. Jamie’s house can still be found there, as well as his school, library and other locations. The pit itself, however, was dug out and filmed was in Waupun.

The Pit on Blu-ray
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Children of the Night (1991)

Children of the 1991 is a 1991 vampire movie filmed in Wisconsin
Children of the Night begins as any good horror movie should: Teenage girls stripping down to their underwear to go swimming. In an abandoned church crypt. Where, naturally, they awaken a sleeping vampire.

This Fangoria-produced flick was filmed in various locations around Wisconsin, including Crandon, Phelps, Rhinelander, Sugar Camp and Three Lakes.

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American Movie (1999)

Wisconsin horror filmmaker Mark Borchardt in American Movie
American Movie is actually a documentary, but it makes the list because it follows aspiring Milwaukee filmmaker Mark Borchardt and his struggle to make his own independent horror film Coven.

The result is a different kind of horror, guaranteed to make you second guess that potentially misguided dream you’ve been so desperately clinging to your entire life.

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Witches’ Night (2007)

Witches' Night horror movie filmed in Wisconsin
Rarely do indie horror flicks live up to their hype, often suffering from bad acting, thin plots, lame gore effects and more. I haven’t seen Witches’ Night yet, but it seems to be surprisingly good if the reviews are to be trusted. Also, it stars Betsy Baker of Evil Dead fame.

According to the website, Witches’ Night was filmed at locations along the Wisconsin River, including Tower Hill State Park and the “Witches’ Cliff” at Ferry Bluff.

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How many of these have you seen? What else belongs on this list? Tell me in the comments below.

Related: Indie Horror Movies Filmed in Wisconsin


9 Comments

  1. S Truter June 16, 2018 Reply

    Damian Omen II filmed all the academy scenes at St Johns Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin

  2. Aswang, a 1994 Sundance Film Festival selection that landed a distribution deal, was filmed in and around Milwaukee.

  3. Fever Lake filmed entirely in Kenosha County, WI (Twin Lakes)

  4. Damien: Omen II was partially filmed on Spider Lake, near Eagle River.

  5. also
    better off undead – oshkosh wi (2007)
    parts of Dead weight (2012)

    • Dead Weight was filmed entirely in Wisconsin. Mostly in and around Oshkosh (in Fisk and Pickett), but with a few short scenes in Fond du Lac, Neenah and Appleton.

  6. You forgot
    IDS
    IDS2
    IDS RISING
    MEDIATRIX

  7. You forgot Ddamien: Omen II which, part of it, was filmed in Lake Geneva, WI

  8. You forgot Troma’s film ‘BloodHook’.

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